Guillermo Kuitca; Puro Teatro, 2002
You have to have a huge obsession to face a chance encounter. In 1994, in London, I managed to get tickets to see Der Rosenkavalier at Govent Garden, but I didn’t only get tickets. I also discovered that the theatre plan at the ticket office shows that the spectator
can see that his location is seen from the stage. More than showing you how you are going to see the performance, it shows how you will be seen.
I had made some theatre plans, but it was there that I realized that something very special had happened, and my work took a 180 degree turn. The relentless vision I had always had of a great drama, and the baroque idea of life being like a theatre, got twisted around me (or the spectator) on stage to look from the other side.
I immediately bought a theatre guide, The Complete Guide to West End Theatres, and although I often buy things that I hold on to and don’t end up using until much later, I used this material with great urgency. I almost rushed back from London to begin working, and that’s where I began the series that later became Puro Teatro. That 180 degree turn that might have been produced instantaneously in another artist took me a long time, more than fifteen years. But I knew that the move was very important, like engaging gears in a machine.
London theatres appear more often because of that encounter at Govent Garden, or maybe because London is a city so assciocated with theatre.
Really, this was all the material that I had the perspective of from the stage, and was enough. I don’t think that the selection of specially London theatres holds too much weight, but I always wanted to use Shakespeare texts to write on the audience.
The audience recites the text for the actor, or better, the actor repeat the text that the audience cues, like a prompter. At the same time, with the idea that the piece happens anywhere, not just on stage, “Come Thick Night”, “Good Night Sweet Prince”or “Chop off her Head” could be screamed by the audience, telling the actor what he has to do, as if to say,”Come on, chop her head off once and for all and we’ll all go home”.
Guillermo Kuitca, 2003